Fixing the future

Why we need smarter water management for the
world’s most essential resource

The ability to effectively manage the world’s water supply impacts almost every aspect of human life, from health and nourishment, to business and commerce, to energy and transportation. But the world’s water system is rife with problems, including stress, declining water quality and an aging and insufficient infrastructure. With deteriorating resources and exponential growth in water demand, an alarming percentage of the world’s water is going to waste. For example, a significant portion of all the water used each year in agriculture is frivoled away by poor resource management. And water leaks account for billions of lost liters per day. Without smarter water management, the ability of the water system to meet the critical needs of people and business will be compromised in virtually every country of the world.

Smarter water management is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent, using information and analytics to deliver improved outcomes across the water management lifecycle.

Instrumented means fast, automated collation of information from varied sources to increase situational awareness. It also entails the merging of structured and unstructured data from multiple sources to create a holistic view of water systems at multiple scales. Interconnected means efficient information sharing to deliver a real-time common operating picture to drive more effective decision making and effective collaboration across services, agencies, suppliers and user communities. Intelligent means more comprehensive, timely information to improve planning, scheduling and tactical decision making, using predictive analytics and information mining to identify trends and hotspots, as well as specify preventative action.

Governments, cities, utilities and businesses all have key roles to play in achieving the significant potential of a smarter approach to address the world’s water system challenges. To learn more, register to download the complete IBM Institute for Business Value executive report.

Download the complete IBM Institute for Business Value study

Meet the author

  • Mary Keeling

    Mary Keeling

    Manager, IBM Institute for Business Value Center for Economic Analysis

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